My class this year was VERY lucky to get their very own elf from the North Pole!  I have never done an elf but my son’s classroom did it last year and he LOVED it.  So the elf antics have started in my classroom! Keep reading for a freebie and some ideas to see how it’s working in my room!

Our elf joined our room on Monday after Thanksgiving.  He was sitting quietly by the TV so the kids would notice during morning announcements.  Well, they noticed the moment they walked in the room really!  After announcements, we read the story and I allowed the kids to talk to their partners about how they felt and share any personal experiences they had with the elf.  This helped to keep the excitement contained (and kept the day moving along because everyone got to share).

Elf Naming Survey. A free printable from Simply Kinder that reinforces literacy and math.  Next, we had to name our elf.  We brainstormed some ideas on a circle map as a class and then I decided on four to vote on.  We used the free printable above to then survey our class and ultimately pick the name.  (UPDATE:  some years I have done the survey as a class, and some years I allow the kids to walk around with clipboards and a name list to survey on their own.  It just depends on the students).

Elf Naming Survey. A free printable from Simply Kinder that reinforces literacy and math.
After we picked the name, we wrote followed up with this additional page. I really wanted to reinforce to my students that the elf is watching behaviors and that the elf should not be touched.  This opened up those conversations and gave the students a time to understand and reflect.
Click here to download it now.
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It was a lot of fun to move the elf each day and the kids really enjoyed coming into school and seeing what kind of mischief he got into.  I will say though, I was so glad that I planned it all out with our Editable Classroom Elf Calendar and Journal.  If you invest a little bit of planning at the beginning, it will save you those, man, I forgot to move the elf moments.  It also has a great journal where the kids can write about it each day.  Click here to see more.

An editable elf calendar and student journal for your classroom elf.

Here are a few of the different places our elf decided to hang out his first week:
 “What’s that?”  LOL.
 (Of course put in a super well behaved child’s cubby!)
For more Elf on the Shelf Classroom Ideas click here:
Elf on the Shelf Classroom Ideas and Inspiration using the Elves at Play set. Perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and first grades.
Reflections after the first week of doing the elf:
  • So the whole week has been…where’s the elf immediately when they walk in the door!  So it is motivating.
  • I have a few who are questioning.   Why does he have a tag, he looks plastic, etc.  (OK – I should have removed the tag for sure!)
  • I am not convinced it’s changed my students’ behavior as they are still interrupting me, talking out of turn, and not working at about the same rate they normally do.  But we will stick with it and see it through.
  • It’s tricky to move when my own son goes’s to school with me.  He can’t see me move the elf.  I have had to ask my teammates to help me, but I feel like I am being a burden.

There you have it.  Our first interactions with the Elf on the Shelf in the classroom.  Do you have an elf?  Do you have any advice to give?  Please share in the comments below.